Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 | 0 comments

A Sense of Loss

Dan recently took this photo while on his day off with Carter

 

Recently, I had the opportunity to be part of a leadership seminar through my department at work. There were many excellent points discusses throughout the entire course of the seminar, but the portion on change is what really hit a chord with me. Hmm, I wonder why? The speaker, Chuck Stoner*, spoke specifically about the fact that every change in life comes with a sense of loss and grieving, even when the change is something positive that we are looking forward to.

When change comes, there is always a different path that will never be available to us again. Dan and I are currently standing in that divergence of choices and the other paths that we will be walking away from are so clear to me I can almost physically see them. I can see Carter at his first day of kindergarten, baseball game, and a host of other things that every mom cherishes and it does fill me with a sense of longing for that path. I can see that our grandparents are getting older and know in my heart that there is a very real possibility that being gone for 5-10 years or more means we might not get to see them again before they die. We may miss births of nieces and nephews, friends’ weddings, and a lot more events that we can never get back once they are over. We will be moving away from Dan’s very close-knit family that we spend time with multiple days a week.

All of these things and more impose a real weight to the decisions that we are making. They give more value to the good life that we are leaving behind to follow our dream of cruising. Does that mean that we will regret the choice to leave? I don’t think so. The excitement of moving forward and doing something new is far too great for us to look back wistfully for very long. But it does make me appreciate the time we have left a little more.

Follow your Dreams. Follow the Horizon.

*Dr. Charles Stoner and his speaking partner Tom Bower gave one of the best seminars I have ever attended. If you ever have a chance to go to one, I would highly recommend it. Also, you can find some of Chuck’s books on business and leadership here.

Read More

Posted on Aug 15, 2012 | 0 comments

To See or Not to See

Yea, it scares me too.

For those of you following closely, you will know that LASIK eye surgery is on our To-Do List before we leave (aka lose insurance coverage.) Both of us currently wear glasses and contacts and while we understand that people certainly can go cruising with prescription lenses, we would prefer not to. Losing or damaging expensive glasses is an inconvenience when it’s a pair of sunglasses, its a danger when its a prescription that allows you to see anything farther away than the bow of your boat.

The flip side of this coin is the fairly high cost. Eye surgery is considered an elective procedure by most insurance companies and is generally not covered. We’ve been quoted $1000-$2000 per eye depending on the type of lasers used and the warranties included. That’s a total cost for 4 eyes of up to $8000, a cost that will be coming directly out of our cruising kitty. Seeing as how we’ve moved up our planned departure date by a few years, that’s quite a chunk of change that has to be seriously considered.

After a lot of consideration, (and some help from my parents’ insurance plan) we have decided to go through with the surgery. This Friday to be exact. Let me just say that it definitely does make both of us nervous. While LASIK is a very common surgery at this point, there are no true guarantees that something won’t go wrong. It is a little scary when going wrong could mean permanent damage to our vision.

We’ll be heading up to Chicago for our surgery Thursday night for our appointments Friday morning. And if you think of us as you’re getting to work on Friday, send a little prayer our way. Hopefully, we’ll “see” you on the other side!

Read More

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 | 0 comments

How-To: Inform the Fam

Dan’s mom, Shelly, and Carter at the pumpkin farm last year.

Step 1: Put a big sign in front of your house that says it is for sale.
Step 2: Wait for your family to freak out.

Okay, this is exactly what we didn’t do and hopefully anyone reading this blog will try to avoid this approach as well.  We were not looking forward to telling Grandma and Grandpa that their adorable grandson would soon be living on a boat out of easy cuddle range, however we decided that it would be very unfair to put our house up for sale without letting them know first.

Let me just insert a little history here to help everyone understand why we were hesitant to tell our parents. First of all, we have a very good relationship with Dan’s parents. They live only a few blocks from us, which means that we see them a lot. It will be a major change for us (and them) to not see each other basically every day. Secondly, sailing off on a boat is not the first time that we have told our families that we are moving somewhere else, but it will be the first time that we actually do it. We wanted to make sure that we were far enough along in the planning and preparation that we would be taken seriously, as well as have as many answers to their questions as possible. Finally, over the last year we have been trying to prepare them for the idea of cruising by talking a lot about sailing and other people that we have met who are currently cruising.

To be honest, I think our general preparation worked to make the idea sound feasible, but I’m not sure that we overcame the obstacle of being taken seriously. We told Dan’s parents at dinner at Cracker Barrel (his mom’s favorite restaurant, mine less so) that we were putting our house up for sale in August and that we planned to move to Florida as soon as possible to find a boat to live on. And then…nothing happened. It was extremely anticlimactic. Eventually they did ask some of the basic questions like “What about pirates?” and “How do you make sure Carter doesn’t fall in?”, but the overall mood was so subdued I almost wished someone would cry or yell or something. It felt like being a kid again…

“Hey mom! I’m going to be an astronaut when I grow up!”
“That’s great, honey, now wash your hands for dinner.”

Since that day, a week and a half ago, there still hasn’t been much reaction. Things have been mentioned in an off-hand kind of way, but no more questions or concerns have been voiced. I have a feeling that may change once we are actually leaving, but for now I just don’t think that it is real to them yet.

Note: some of you may have noticed the lack of information on my family’s reaction to the news. That’s because we would like to tell them in person, but we haven’t been able to get up to Chicago to talk to them about it yet.

Read More

Posted on May 1, 2012 | 0 comments

Uncertainty in Life

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

 – Nobel laureate Andre Gide

Uncertainty. It scares people. A lot of people spend a good portion of their lives trying to reduce or eliminate it. In general, people want to feel warm and cozy in their lives. Risk is to be minimized, chances not taken. Michele and I can’t do that. We both know people who are happy with that life, and that’s great for them. It’s just most definitely not for us.

A lot of people think we’re crazy for following our dream to sail over the horizon. One of the first questions they ask is what happens if something goes wrong? I always tell them something will go wrong. The question is better phrased “what will you do when something goes wrong?” We’ll do exactly what we have always done. Deal with it and persevere.

We have been sky diving, scuba diving, rock climbing, and many other “extreme” activities… yet we don’t think of ourselves as “extreme” or adrenaline junkies or risk seekers. We know our limits and (usually) stay within them. I don’t see the point of not pushing yourself, however. How do you know you won’t like skydiving? Try it.

Do you have the courage to lose sight of whatever shore you are clinging to? I hope so. Grow in yourself and seize the opportunities life gives you. Follow your dreams. Follow the horizon.

Follow the Horizon is participating in National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo). NaBloPoMo is for bloggers who commit to post each day in the month of May.

Read More